Football: Blues edge past Worcester in the cup

The Blues need penalties to secure a hard-fought victory against Worcester.

Blues broadway. che wilson childs football penalties worcester

University of Cambridge 0 – 0 University of Worcester

Cambridge win 7-6 on penalties

Having not played for 2 weeks due to waterlogged pitches, the Blues were eager for their 2nd round Cup match against Worcester to go ahead, despite the wet weather. Coach Che Wilson shuffled the pack to reward some excellent training performances – there were three changes from the previous fixture, with Blevins, Hill and Sherif coming into the starting lineup.

The Blues had beaten Worcester 4-1 in the League earlier in November, but the result had flattered Cambridge in truth, and it was no surprise that this was a much tighter affair. Goalmouth action was at a premium but the first 45 was by no means a Christmas cracker, though Tsuda was denied by a goaline block after good work from Totten. Broadway could also have done better with a free header from just inside the box after escaping his marker, only to head wide. Worcester were restricted to half-chances from set pieces, where some suspect Light Blue marking almost allowed the away side to break the deadlock.

During the scrappy second period, Worcester had the better chances, threatening in particular from set-pieces thanks to their height and power. During a rare phase of excitement, a free Worcester header from 12 yards was fortunate to be straight at Kent in goal. The Light Blue touchpaper was lit – a swift Blues counter, with Sherif outpacing a Worcester defender, created a chance for Kerrigan which was also well saved. The rest of the half, like the first, remained a midfield battle, with Cambridge refusing to succumb to the physical approach of their niggly opponents.

As the deadlock could not be broken during the 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time, shortened to 20 minutes with the light beginning to fade. Cambridge kicked off with vigour, playing their finest football of the match and almost grabbing the lead inside the first 60 seconds. Totten once again got to the byline, but his cutback cruelly evaded Forde, May and Tsuda, to the disappointment of the freezing fans. Cambridge were zipping the ball around in trademark style, and Forde beat 3 men on the left flank with a delightful chipped skill on the byline, only to fire a wayward cross-shot into the side netting.

There was little other action after changing ends for the second period, though the Blues came under increased pressure. Worcester set-pieces were interspersed with rare Cambridge counter-attacks, but neither side could prevent the game going to penalties.

Childs’ early miss was rectified by a Worcester penalty that had Santa ducking in his sleigh, and a good save from Kent sent the Blues into the 3rd round of the Cup. A 7-6 penalties win sends the Light Blues into the last eight of the national cup, on the back of perfect Michaelmas. 5 wins in 5 competitive games sets the Blues up beautifully for the annual La Manga tour and Lent Term, and surely ticks off the early wishes on Captain Broadway’s Christmas list.